Movie Review: The Stanford Prison Experiment

This week I’m reviewing The Stanford Prison Experiment. Here’s what it’s about:

“Twenty-four male students out of seventy-five were selected to take on randomly assigned roles of prisoners and guards in a mock prison situated in the basement of the Stanford psychology building.”

I have always been fascinated by how disturbing this experiment is. And right off, I was impressed by the format in which it was filmed. Something was missing though, in that I expected something a bit more horrific on the side of the guards. Something was missing about what they were going through in their transition into power. Billy Crudup’s performance as Dr. Zimbardo was stiff and one-sided and unprofessional in a sense.

The portrayal of the prisoners was well done. I felt for them as the horror of their circumstances evolved, especially knowing they had no idea what they were getting into. My emotions aligned as each descended to their personal breaking points. But I also wanted to come away with an equal level of anger for those in charge, and that was missing.

I didn’t hate the film. It provides some good insight into the experiment. Watch it.

My Rating: 3 out of 5

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